How Will Artificial Intelligence Change Healthcare In The Future?

Upcoming Trends in the Healthcare Industry to Look out for!

Healthcare is undergoing a massive transformation. Researchers, thinkers, developers, scientists, doctors, it seems like everybody is taking a dive to understand and improve the healthcare sector using a host of different techniques.

What first seemed like a revolution of the computer industry is now re-shaping almost every single sector. Artificial Intelligence is all geared up to get into the lesser tapped but high potential sectors like healthcare and medicine.

Researchers and wiz-kids from across the globe are making this possible. Automated missiles and drones used by the military, recommendation systems used by music platforms, surveillance, even mobile phones with AI camera set ups – Artificial Intelligence is omnipresent.

Intelligent machines are now changing the medication processes as well.

Here are the top 3 Trends to Look out for-

1. Telemedicine

In the era of online learning, online shopping, online dating- online consultation isn’t far behind. Telemedicine is an advanced way to reach out to doctors remotely. This is convenient for both patients and physicians to bridge the gap (especially for elderly and pediatric patients). Telemedicine is an attempt to reduce health care costs and with less than 1 doctor behind every 1000 population in India alone, this is no less than a blessing.

A recent study tells us that around 77% of the population prefers receiving healthcare virtually, of which 19% are already doing so.

Routine trips to a physician’s waiting room might soon become a thing of the past.

 Telemedicine offers flexibility to the patients for documentation and to schedule or re-schedule their sessions with physicians- be it a routine checkup of blood pressure, sugar, medication reminders, or health trackers, the majority of the population prefers it to be done virtually.

According to Customer Choice Survey from Advisory Board,

‘Overall, the majority of the nearly 5,000 survey respondents reported that they would be willing to consider a virtual visit in each of the 21 primary and specialty care scenarios tested’

2. Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Enhanced Diagnosis.

Google and IBM among many others have infused AI into  public health to yield better results . 

According to a survey conducted in February 2018, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide accounting for around 8.8 million deaths worldwide.

Researchers at Google have come up with an Artificial intelligence (AI) and Augmented reality(AR) enabled model to detect cancer cells even at the primitive stage. The model is based on neural networks.

Machine learning and deep learning practices can improve the research, diagnosis, medication, analysis, of severe epidemics in their nascent stages.

BERG, a Boston based company uses AI to build models by taking the data from the patient’s biology in the areas of oncology, endocrinology, and neurology.

Click here to read more.

IBM Watson Genomics is another such application of AI which aims at improving precision medicine by cognitive computing and genomic tumor sequencing. The service involves analysis of the genomic makeup of the tumors which is used to reveal the associated mutations.

Related: Artificial Intelligence Enabled Microscope to Detect Cancer in Real-Time

Artificial Intelligence is making its presence felt when it comes to research and development. It holds the potential to improve medical productivity, reduce labor, improve efficiency, enhance the reliability of reports, and reduce errors and similar to Netflix and Spotify, make predictions as well.

3. Radiology and Radiography

Detection of cancerous cells and tumors in the nascent stages has gathered a lot of attention in recent years. Google, IBM, and startups like Niramai have continuously been working on various AI techniques to put a stronger fight against cancer.

More than half a million people are diagnosed with cancer and radiotherapy is a crucial part of the treatment process. Radiologists have to plan meticulously to ensure no damage occurs to healthy tissues.

Google’s DeepMind Health has been working closely with the NHS to build machine learning algorithms which can detect the differences in cancerous and healthy tissues to improve radiation treatments. In the initial testing, the algorithm was found to analyze the medical scans of the neck and head cancer to a level close to expert technicians. The traditionally time-consuming process is all set to now become a matter of a fraction of seconds.

With the massive amount of data flowing in and out, radiation treatments are all set to witness transformations like never before.

Dr. Ziad Obermeyer predicts radiology to be replaced entirely by cyborgs in the room within the next 2 decades.

As big a favorite as AI is, it is also the infamous future ‘job-eater’ for humans as it is believed AI enabled systems will soon surpass human intelligence.

Over the years it has been observed that the centers for medicare react to new technologies apprehensively; which is justified when people’s lives are at stake. But these intelligent systems are not here to replace humans, AI will help to reduce the time required for diagnosis. Not only will it boost the health care system, but it will increase efficiency as well.

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